Using the latest technology – the Ultrapulse Laser Resurfacing tool and Dr. Cherup can minimize wrinkles, scars, and many discolorations at Radiance Surgery Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The Co2 Laser is performed by Dr. Cherup under sedation.
The Ultrapulse Laser focuses on the hills and valleys that make up wrinkles and scars, visibly reducing the effects of aging, acne, sun damage and chemical exposure.
As soon as ten days after the procedure, your complexion will be soft and much smoother. This is the best you can look without a conventional face lift at one third to one half the cost. You should know that the Ultrapulse Laser’s precision technology eliminates guesswork and the risks of scarring and whitening sometimes associated with chemical peels. The results are consistent and predictable.
Following your treatment, we will recommend procedures and products to help you keep your skin look its best.
CO2 Laser skin resurfacing
Specfic Surgical Risks
The Pulsed CO2 Laser is so precise in the depth of vaporization of the skin surface that the possibility of scarring is virtually eliminated. Scarring occurs when resurfacing goes into the deep dermis rather than more superficially. In spite of the precision of the Pulsed C02 Laser and the care taken by Dr. Cherup, scarring may still occur on very infrequent occasions. If so, the area involved should be very small and usually superficial. Time, pressure, and the use of injected steroids often resolves the issue satisfactorily.
Discoloration of the Skin:
After treatment (resurfacing) of the skin by ANY method, the possibility of permanent skin color change exists. The change, if any, is usually very mild. Rarely, the skin may become darker. Even more rarely, the skin color can become much lighter because of damage to the pigment cells. The change, if any, is usually very mild. An attempt is usually made to treat an entire area (i.e. the entire cheek or the entire upper lip) on the face so that if a minor change occurs it does not appear as a spot. As is the case with scarring, the use of the Laser reduces the possibility of color changes.
After initial healing, the treated areas will be red or pink and in most cases will gradually fade over a period of 2-6 months. The redness may persist longer in some cases. The use of a bleaching agent and Retin-A® may sometimes be indicated to reduce the period of redness.
Wound Healing and Swelling:
Laser surgery may result in swelling, weeping, crusting, or flaking of the treated areas, possibly requiring 1-3 weeks to heal. This can happen immediately or within a few hours after the procedure. With time the swelling will go down, although the nose and cheeks will take longer than any other part of the face. Once the surface is healed, it may be pink and sensitive to the sun for an additional 2-4 weeks.
Herpes Skin Infection:
Resurfacing of the skin by any method may stir up dormant Herpes infections whether you have had prior Herpes or not. Acyclovir (an antiviral agent against Herpes) is now available – so you can be treated prophylactically (prior to resurfacing) or after resurfacing if an infection develops. Please advise us if you have a history of skin infections or sores.
Incomplete Removal of Wrinkles or Irregularities:
While the Pulsed C02 Laser is a state of the art instrument, ALL wrinkles and skin irregularities cannot be removed in one treatment (in order to avoid scarring). Some growths, birthmarks and tattoos may respond only partially or not at all to Laser surgery. If the defects are large or the wrinkles deep, second or even third treatments may be necessary to achieve the ultimate results (or other treatment alternatives are available).
Protective eyewear or goggles will be provided. It is important to keep the eyes covered at all times during treatment in order to protect them from accidental laser exposure.
Pain or Discomfort:
If the skin is not treated with a dressing, postoperative pain from laser skin resurfacing can be significant. The application of a membrane dressing or ointment will resolve or eliminate discomfort (see below).
Recurrence of Wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles caused by muscular action) can persist or recur. Reduction or elimination of deep, large or scarred wrinkles may require MORE than one Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment.
Milia are very small pinpoint white cysts that form on the surface of the skin after different types of treatment or surgery. They may occur following laser skin resurfacing – most commonly around the eyes. The problem is self-limiting or eliminated with a very simple office treatment.
Specific Post Operative Instructions
Protecting New Skin:
The new skin surface will be covered with epithelium (new skin) within 7-9 days. Once the new surface is present, the ointments, etc. can be discontinued. The new surface is very thin and tender. Avoid injury and the sun. Apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 if you plan to be outside at all.
Sleep on your back with your head elevated on a few pillows for the first few days if your face appears swollen. A pillow under your knees and arms may make you more comfortable.
Drinking and Eating:
If the skin around your mouth is swollen or tight, drink from a cup or a spoon. DO NOT USE STRAWS.
Bathing and Showering
You should wash the treated area twice daily and remove all ointment and creams. Pat the area dry and reapply the medicated ointment prescribed.
Avoid strenuous exercise for two weeks to avoid irritating the skin.
Treatment of Skin Surface
Either a protective membrane or antibiotic ointment will be placed on the treated areas at the end of surgery. Either method will protect the surface and provide relief from discomfort.
Specific As You Heal Information
Itching and Dryness of the Treated Area:
These are common symptoms once the skin has healed initially. Flakiness and dry crusting will gradually clear. Once the “new skin” becomes healed you will be instructed to use Bio-Images mild protection cream. Ask Dr. Cherup before using commercial moisturizers.
Plan to use a sunscreen on a regular basis for at least 6 months whenever you are outside. A wide brimmed hat is also helpful.
Erythema or Redness:
Virtually all redness should disappear in 2-3 months. A small degree of redness may last a month or two – or longer in some cases.
Routine Skin Care:
You may use your normal skin products once the new surface has healed. You may have a facial in about a month.